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Creating a compelling store layout that will attract, engage and retain your customer

Posted By Kevin Kissell, Yesterday

Today we’re delighted to be visited by Kevin Kissell, who has some tips on creating a merchandising plan in your store to attract customers and increase sales.

Understanding store layout and visual merchandising is crucial in today’s competitive retail market – and something that independent retailers need to do well in order to have a successful store. The look and feel of your store is almost more important that what you are selling. The purpose of good store design and visual merchandising is to create an environment that attracts customers. The more you captivate their curiosity, the more time they will spend in the store. The more time they spend in the store, the more likely they are to make a purchase. To achieve good store design requires knowledge behind the science of shopping, a little creativity, and the willingness to be objective.

Often times your customer’s store experience happens before they even step foot inside your store. This two-part blog series will challenge you, the storeowner, to objectively observe your store from the front entrance all the way to the back wall. By posing questions, we will formulate solutions for many consistent issues within a brick and mortar store. We will discuss basic visual merchandising strategies that will help you develop a set of design codes that will keep your store exciting and visually appealing.

It is important to mention that within store layout and visual merchandising, there are controllable and non-controllable elements. For instance, we probably cannot control our store architecture or the placement of the front door.  We do, however, have control of window displays, fixtures, creative elements, product and placement of things within the store. We can also control the customer’s experience while they are inside your walls.

The parking lot… Literally.
As mentioned above, the store experience generally happens before you even step foot inside the door. Let’s have some honest dialogue. How easy is it to get to your store? Is there ample parking? How is your parking lot? Is it easy to enter and exit? Is it nicely paved? Does it have ADA compliant ramps and handicap parking spaces? How is your store situated in relation to parking? Many of these factors are probably non-controllable to you the storeowner. Research has proven that your in-store experience is affected by the ease or frustration of your commute and ability to park and/or find parking. That being said, if your parking lot is difficult to navigate or your store is not easily accessible then you have an opportunity to make your store more comfortable and more inviting.

The front of your store.
The first thing customers see are your windows. This is your chance to educate, attract, and woo that customer into your store. Paco Underhill, proclaimed Retail Anthropologist and founder of Envirosell Inc., uses the adage “Give Good Window.” Well? Have you? Take a moment and observe the front façade. Is your architecture inviting? Do you have adequate and easily readable signage? Do you have appropriate lighting? Do you have the opportunity to display floral planters beside your doors? Are your windows free from clutter? Are your windows communicating a good visual story? Think of small things that you can do to brighten up the exterior of your store.

What do we see in those windows? How are you communicating your store to the general public? Many times small retailers eagerly show everything the have to offer in one very overcrowded window display, or maybe some sort of lackluster grouping of products.
Your windows are the first part of your story. This is how you tell people about your brand and what you carry inside the store – so reinforce a theme. How can you use principles and elements of design (color, line, form, repetition, etc.), font, creative artwork, or product to tie your windows to the environment inside? This is the time for clarity in your message and to avoid confusing passersby. What you communicate in the window is precisely what should be available inside. If I am fun and creative on the outside, I need to be fun and creative on the inside. 

Window displays should be creative, organized, free of clutter, and nicely presented. Think about creating focal points and eye movement around the window display. Add lighting for more visual appeal.


Inside the front door.
The first thing people need when they enter your store is to acclimate to your environment. They will be taking their sunglasses off, or removing coats, and their senses are adjusting to lighting, scent, and sound. There is a lot of stuff going on! Give customers room to do this. The first five feet to ten feet is known as the Decompression Zone. This is where people are taking in everything about your store; how it smells, how it sounds and how it is packaged. In other words, people are noticing your décor – walls, floors, colors, lighting, fixtures, signage and creative elements. Your job is to create ‘the perfect storm’ – everything must work together to tell a cohesive story.

Many times retailers will crowd the front door with new product and signage and people welcoming you with special offers and coupons. Frustrating, right? What people really want is a chance to take everything in and take a breath. Therefore, dedicate at least five feet for a decompression zone.

Stay tuned - next week we’ll post part 2 of Kevin’s blog series, where he’ll take you deeper into the store and continue a plan for layout and merchandising. Remember - you don’t have to do every little thing outlined in this article - even just one or two small tweaks can make a big difference in your merchandising! What improvements will you make this week?

Kevin Kissell, MFA, is an Instructor in the Department of Design and Merchandising at Colorado State University. His research interests include store design, visual merchandising, and textile design. Prior to entering higher education he accrued over fifteen years of visual merchandising experience.

Tags:  retail 

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TNNA Survey Says: How to Add Value to What You Sell

Posted By India Hart Wood, Hart Business Research, Yesterday

TNNA Survey Says is a biweekly series of articles featuring useful business advice based upon the TNNA State of Specialty NeedleArts 2016 surveys of more than 15,000 fiber artists, retailers, and wholesalers.

TNNA Survey

Add Value to What Your Store Sells, and Become More Profit

Consider adding your own value to what your business sells. Put together kits. Design patterns and products. Help your customers finish or frame their projects. Develop content such as how-to articles and videos to help your customers use what you sell. Survey results indicate profitable retailers are more likely than unprofitable ones to do these value-added activities.

Percentage of retailers indicating they did each business activity, 2016:

Activity

 Yarn retailers

Needlepoint retailers

Counted thread retailers*

Product design (patterns, yarns, canvases, etc.)

43%

49%

11%

Assembly of kits

40%

41%

11%

Finishing or framing

24%

88%

59%

In-house product manufacturing

20%

17%

11%

Store brands manufactured by third party

15%

7%

11%

Content development (how-to videos, articles, podcasts, blog posts, etc.)

12%

5%

4%

Wholesale distribution to other retailers

9%

5%

11%


 Survey question: “What activities does your business include?” 90% or more of retailers sold products and offered classes.

*Sample size for counted thread retailers is enough for trends but not statistically reliable.

  • Source: TNNA 2016 Retailer Survey Results
  • Freshness: Retailers surveyed February 23 to March 28, 2016.
  • Respondents: 325 yarn retailers, 41 needlepoint retailers, and 27 counted thread retailers

More information: http://www.tnna.org/?Survey2016

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TNNA Survey Says: Promote Other Fiber Arts, Too

Posted By India Hart Wood, Hart Business Research, Thursday, August 11, 2016

TNNA Survey Says is a biweekly series of articles featuring useful business advice based upon the TNNA State of Specialty NeedleArts 2016 surveys of more than 15,000 fiber artists, retailers, and wholesalers.

TNNA Survey

Your Customers Know Multiple Fiber Arts, So Sell Them

The typical fiber artist today does two different fiber arts but actually knows how to do three or four. This represents an opportunity for the needle arts industry to wake up consumers’ dormant skills and increase market size with the same number of consumers.

Knitters: The cross-promotion opportunities are biggest with crochet, needlepoint, and cross-stitch. About 40%-50% of knitters know how to do these but are not currently doing them.

Needlepointers: The cross-promotion opportunities are biggest with cross-stitch, knitting, and crochet. About 40%-50% of needlepointers know how to do these but are not currently doing them.

Cross-stitchers: The cross-promotion opportunities are biggest with needlepoint, crochet, and knitting. About 40%-50% of cross-stitchers know how to do these but are not currently doing them.

Percentage of each segment that created at least one project in that fiber art last year:


Fiber art

Knitters

Crocheters

Needle-pointers

Cross-stitchers

Weavers

Spinners

Knitting

100%

42%

29%

31%

61%

89%

Crochet

41%

100%

14%

28%

28%

45%

Needlepoint

5%

5%

100%

24%

4%

7%

Cross-stitch and embroidery

17%

19%

25%

100%

11%

15%

Weaving

13%

6%

1%

2%

100%

53%

Spinning skeins

18%

8%

0%

2%

32%

100%

Total

193%

179%

166%

182%

232%

305%


Survey question: ”How many projects did you finish in each of these fiber arts in 2015?” Table shows percentage of each segment that completed at least one project in that fiber art. The totals indicate how many fiber arts they typically created; for example, spinners typically created in three (305%) different fiber arts and knitters, two (193%).

Percentage of each segment that has tried each fiber art:

 

Knitters

Crocheters

Needle-pointers

Cross-stitchers

Weavers

Spinners

Knitting

100%

77%

73%

70%

87%

96%

Crochet

83%

100%

55%

72%

71%

81%

Needlepoint

55%

51%

100%

79%

51%

55%

Cross-stitch and embroidery

68%

68%

74%

100%

57%

63%

Weaving

33%

21%

12%

13%

100%

76%

Spinning skeins

36%

16%

5%

6%

52%

100%

Total

375%

332%

318%

340%

417%

471%


Survey question: “How proficient are you at these fiber arts?” Percentages indicate those who said they were beginner, intermediate, or advanced in each, versus had never tried. The totals indicate how many fiber arts they have tried; for example, spinners typically have tried nearly five (471%) different fiber arts and knitters, nearly four (375%).

  • Source: TNNA Knitter, Crocheter, and Weaver Survey Results
  • Freshness: Fiber artists surveyed January 25 to February 15, 2016.
  • Respondents: 8,842 knitters, 2,056 crocheters, 1,309 weavers

More information: http://www.tnna.org/?Survey2016

Tags:  TNNA Survey Says 

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Let it Go: Learn to Delegate

Posted By Jess Cook, www.jesscookonline.com, Monday, August 08, 2016

One of the biggest things small business owners do to get in the way of their own success is to micro-manage everything. Let’s face it: most of us are in business for ourselves because we don’t want to work for other people, and in many cases we’d prefer not to work with other people, either (at least not every day). We’re the boss, and that’s the way we like it.

Back in my days as an indie yarn dyer, I was the same way:

  1. I dyed all the yarn and fiber. (Who else would give it my special touch? Why would I trust my secret dye formulas to an outsider?!?)
  2. I ran my own Ravelry group. (Sure, I had other people moderate but they never got any actual responsibility - that was MY logo up at the top, after all!)
  3. I packaged and shipped every order. (My customers really needed that hand-signed thank you note from me!)
  4. I did all my own social media posting, all my own marketing, all my own ad designing, … you get the picture. It was all me.

Sound familiar? The problem with this attitude is that it means everything falls on your shoulders. You carry all the burdens, all the To Dos have your name on them, and it often leaves you with very little free time. (If you’re reading this and laughing at the notion that a small business owner has any free time at all, then keep reading - this one’s especially for you.)

If you’re so busy running your business that you can’t picture taking time away from it, that’s a problem. Maybe you aren’t trying to take a 3-week vacation to Maui every year, but wouldn’t it be nice to take just a few days off from work (and I mean entirely OFF) at the holidays? Or the next time your kid comes down with the flu? What about for a family emergency, or a funeral?

If you think any of those scenarios might one day apply to you - and guess what, they will - it’s time to start learning to delegate. Share the burden, lighten the load, get some help already! It’s hard to let go when you own a small business, because you’re the one who built it. It starts to feel like letting go of your own child, but most of us know that feeling of refreshment and rejuvenation when we hire a babysitter once in awhile. So think of it like that - I’m not asking you to give your business away permanently; I’m asking you to consider hiring an occasional babysitter. And just like a babysitter doesn’t necessarily do everything the same way you do, your business might run slightly differently when you step away from it. But that’s okay! Everyone will survive the experience - even you.

You’ve got several options available to you, so it’s important to try out a few ideas and see what feels right.

Option 1: Hire Permanent Help
If you regularly feel overwhelmed by all the To Dos on your list, it might be time to consider hiring some help. If you have a brick-and-mortar shop then the obvious answer is to hire an employee to come in anywhere from a few hours a week to 8 hours a day. If you have an online-only business, you’ve still got options: you can hire an actual employee, or an independent contractor. A virtual assistant is a great choice for many small business owners, and it’s surprisingly affordable to hire one (more on that on my blog, here).

Once you’ve hired someone, you can train them to do regular tasks for you (things you aren’t going to be doing any more), but then you can also show them how to do YOUR regular tasks, so that every so often they can do those for you and you can take a day off.

Option 2: Hire Temporary Help
Like the babysitter analogy, sometimes you only need help from time to time. Maybe you can get enough relief by hiring a temporary person via a service like TaskRabbit or Fiverr. Maybe you’ve got a friend or neighbor who’d be willing to jump in and help for an afternoon, or a weekend. You might even be able to find a student from a local college or university who would be willing to trade free (or cheap) labor for the experience of getting a sneak-peek into how a small business works.

In this scenario, you want to think about the most important tasks that absolutely must be done for your business to function on a basic level. Train this person to do those tasks, and then they can keep it running while you’re away.

Option 3: Prepare for Emergency Help
If you take a few hours to show your spouse, best friend, or another trusted person how to run the basic operations of your business, then that person can step in in an emergency situation. Think about this - if you had an emergency, you would want someone else to be able to notify your customers to expect shipping delays, to cancel live events for the day, or to let your employees know that you wouldn’t be coming in, right? Take some down time to explain these procedures, and that’s one less worry if you find yourself in an emergency situation.

Whatever you choose, understand that there will be a transition period when you work with a new person, and the process won’t always run smoothly, especially at first. Keep these tips in mind for successful delegation:

  1. Take a deep breath and keep your cool. Nobody benefits from an emotionally heated situation!
  2. Take it slowly, understanding that it takes more time to learn a new task, but once your helper gets going he will be able to work more quickly and efficiently.
  3. Remember that the goal here is not to get someone else to work exactly like you would do it - instead, it’s to get someone else to do it well enough that you can step away temporarily.
  4. Try to keep it in perspective: the more help you get with some of your regular tasks, the more free time that gives you to take a vacation, or even focus on pursuing new work-related goals!

Do you have an emergency plan, or a vacation plan, to get some extra help in your business? Tell us about it in the comments! We’d love to hear how you “let it go.”

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TNNA Survey Says: How Much to Promote Made-in-USA

Posted By India Hart Wood, Hart Business Research, Monday, August 08, 2016

TNNA Survey Says is a biweekly series of articles featuring useful business advice based upon the TNNA State of Specialty NeedleArts 2016 surveys of more than 15,000 fiber artists, retailers, and wholesalers.

TNNA Survey

How Much to Promote Made-in-USA and Other Conscious Consumerism Features for Yarn

Suppliers may find made-in-USA a productive point of product differentiation for the one-third of consumers who said it mattered to them when purchasing yarn. Two-thirds of the market, however, said made-in-USA did not matter. These fractions are about the same for knitters, crocheters, and weavers, and younger (30s) and older (60s) consumers.

Suppliers may find other product features categorized under conscious consumerism to be productive and beneficial points of product differentiation in competitive markets. Conscious consumerism includes a range of social and environmental criteria used to make purchase decisions. Hand made, locally produced, fair trade, socially conscious (living wage, fair labor practices, etc.), and organic each matter to about 10% to 20% of yarn purchasers. See table below for details.

Younger purchasers were significantly more likely to say fair trade, locally produced, organic, and socially conscious mattered. About 8% more purchasers in their 30s versus their 60s thought these mattered. There was no age difference for made-in-USA and hand made.

Percentage of each segment saying these mattered to them when they most recently purchased yarn

Characteristic Knitters Crocheters Weavers

Made in USA

30% 34% 34%

Hand made

19% 13% 19%

Locally produced

18% 10% 18%

Fair trade

13% 12% 14%

Socially conscious

12% 9%
10%

Organic

9% 8%
12%

None of these

16%

20%
23%


Survey question was “Was the yarn you purchased described as any of these? Did it matter to you?” Question was regarding most recent yarn purchase.

  • Source: TNNA Knitter, Crocheter, and Weaver Survey Results
  • Freshness: Fiber artists surveyed January 25 to February 15, 2016.
  • Respondents: 8,842 knitters, 2,056 crocheters, 1,309 weavers

More information: http://www.tnna.org/?Survey2016

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Get into the Shops: Tips for Independent Business Owners

Posted By Jess Cook, JessCookOnline.com, Tuesday, August 02, 2016

If you make a product and you’d like to get it featured on the shelves of a retail store, TNNA is the perfect opportunity for you to do just that! Participating in the TNNA show and featuring your products on the floor is one way to make connections with retail store owners and get your products in front of them, but it’s not the only way. You can contact retailers throughout the year to forge these types of partnerships individually - and at the same time, you can take steps to make your product line-up even more appealing to retailers so that you’ll really rock the next show.

Here are some tips for getting your products into retail stores:

  1. Know your numbers. Before you can do anything else, you’ve got to know the numbers side of putting your product into retail shops. The general breakdown is that your wholesale price point (the price you’ll sell your product directly to a store owner) should be half of the retail price (the price you use when selling to the consumer). If you look at that amount and you realize that you can’t break even at that price point, it might be time to examine your profit margin for your individual products and increase your retail prices to accommodate wholesale sales. (For more on pricing & profit margins, read this or this.)
  2. Have a line sheet prepared. A line sheet is a document that outlines your business, the products you offer, the wholesale pricing for each and the requirements for placing an order. Having this document ready means that you can send one (digitally or physically through the mail) to a retailer and they’ll have all the information they need to know about your products right there on that sheet. (For more tips on line sheets, read this.)
  3. Make an appointment. If you’re going to physically visit a store in person to pitch your products, make an appointment ahead of time. You can go in personally to speak to the owner, or call the store - ask for an appointment that would be convenient so you don’t accidentally waltz into a store in the middle of their rush time and expect the owner to care that you’re there.
  4. Show some samples. If you’re going to a store in-person, bring full-sized samples of your products, and lots of ‘em. Make sure you show diversity in the products you display - at least one of every type of yarn base, for instance, or a finished project from each of your embroidery designs. If you’re not visiting a shop in person, it’s good to have either high-quality digital photos of your products to send in a catalog (digitally or a print version), or to send smaller swatch-sized samples of your products if that’s an option. Send those along with your line sheet and a friendly letter introducing yourself and telling them how to get in touch if they want to order something.
  5. Be persistent. The first store may say they’re not interested. Heck, the first 10 stores may say the same thing. But keep trying - you’ll get #11 if you do. As a way of turning these obstacles into learning experiences, ask the store owner if she’s willing to share with you why she didn’t want to stock your products, and then do your best to change that particular scenario when you pitch to the next shop. (For instance, if a store owner didn’t think you had enough variety, change up the samples you offer or consider adding some new products to your line before you try again.) No matter what, don’t be discouraged! Not every shop is a perfect fit for every product, and sometimes you just have to look a little harder to find the shop that’s right for you.

If you’re a store owner, share a comment below and let us know what you look for in the products you stock. If you’re an independent business owner and you’ve had success breaking into the wholesale market, share your tips with your fellow indies. We want to hear from you - let’s work together to improve the market for everyone!

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TNNA Survey Says: Recipe for a Profitable Needle Arts Retailer

Posted By India Hart Wood, Hart Business Research, Tuesday, August 02, 2016

TNNA Survey Says is a biweekly series of articles featuring useful business advice based upon the TNNA State of Specialty NeedleArts 2016 surveys of more than 15,000 fiber artists, retailers, and wholesalers.

TNNA Survey

Recipe for a Profitable Needle Arts Retailer

If a retailer is not profitable the business can make a number of changes to become profitable. About 60% of needle arts retailers indicated they were profitable in 2015. Here is the yarn retailers’ recipe for profitability:

  • Higher pricing
  • Less discounting
  • Larger store size and higher sales volume
  • Wider range of business activities (online store, finishing services, product design, house brands)
  • Solid marketing expertise
  • Wider range of marketing methods
  • Less credit card debt and less use of personal assets to fund business
  • Increased sales volume relative to store size and inventory spending, resulting in
    • Higher inventory turn
    • Higher sales per square foot

These factors together create an upward spiral of sales growth, improved cash flow, less need for debt, lower per-unit business costs, and so on.

Percentage of yarn retailers per characteristic (profitable versus not profitable retailers):

Retailer characteristic Profitable retailers Not profitable retailers

Markup average greater than 2x

29% 23%

20% or more of sales discounted

16% 27%

Store size (median)

1,500 s.f. 1,239 s.f.

Sales more than $200,000

41% 17%

Business activities

Online store 52%
Finishing 38%
Product design 45%
House brands 17%

Online store 36%
Finishing 26%
Product design 39%
House brands 12%

Main business obstacles

Cash flow 10%
Debt 5%
Weak marketing 19%

Cash flow 40%
Debt 18%
Weak marketing 30%

Source of funds

Cash flow 93%
Credit cards 39%
Personal assets 18%

Cash flow 79%
Credit cards 60%
Personal assets 59%

Inventory turn

1.1 0.9

Sales per square foot (median)

$133 $74


Data is from a wide range of survey questions regarding 2015 retailer financial data and activities. This article uses only yarn retailer data, as there were not enough responses on the 2016 survey from needlepoint and counted thread retailers for a comparison between profitable and unprofitable.

  • Source: TNNA 2016 Yarn Retailer Survey Results
  • Freshness: Yarn Retailers surveyed February 23 to March 28, 2016.
  • Respondents: 293 yarn retailers, 57% of which were profitable

More information: http://www.tnna.org/?Survey2016

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TNNA Survey Says: Needle Arts Store Startup Costs 2016

Posted By India Hart Wood, Hart Business Research, Wednesday, July 27, 2016

TNNA Survey Says is a biweekly series of articles featuring useful business advice based upon the TNNA State of Specialty NeedleArts 2016 surveys of more than 15,000 fiber artists, retailers, and wholesalers.

TNNA Survey

Needle Arts Store Startup Costs

If you are starting out as a yarn retailer, you will typically need about $40,000 for up-front costs including initial rent deposit, remodeling, furniture and fixtures, initial marketing, information technology, professional services and startup inventory. Yarn retailers reported spending $1,500 to $185,000 on these costs, listed in the table below, with half of startups in the midrange of $20,000 to $60,000. Startup costs were similar for new needlepoint retailers and much lower for counted thread retailers.

On top of these startup costs you will need additional funds for ongoing monthly expenses which include rent, utilities, staff salaries, and insurance; these are dependent upon your local market, so look those up locally. Add ongoing inventory costs, too.

Median cost per yarn retailer startup:

Startup cost category

 

Median

Rent deposit or equivalent

$1,450

Remodeling, furniture, fixtures, decor, lighting

$5,000

Marketing (advertising, graphic design, website and social media design, interior and exterior signage, opening day, etc.)

$1,500

Information technology (computers, software, cloud services, website hosting, phones, support, etc.)

$2,500

Professional fees (accountant, lawyer, consultant, etc.)

$1,000

Startup inventory

$30,000

Survey question was “What were your approximate startup costs in each category? These could be costs incurred prior to opening.” Nearly all yarn startups (about 90% or more) spent money on each category; the one exception is “professional fees,” which 65% of startups spent money on. Each median includes only those spending money in that category. Stores reported startup costs for businesses founded in 2013 or later.

  • Source: TNNA Yarn Retailer Survey
  • Freshness: Yarn Retailers surveyed February 23 to March 28, 2016.
  • Respondents: 82 yarn, 5 needlepoint, and 6 counted thread retailers had recently opened a store and shared their cost data.

More information: http://www.tnna.org/?Survey2016


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Need some extra cash? Funding options are available!

Posted By Jess Cook, JessCookOnline.com, Tuesday, July 26, 2016
If you’re struggling to make ends meet in your small business, you’ve got several options beyond the credit cards in your wallet. Small business funding can help you purchase new equipment or a larger space, place a big wholesale order to widen your sales range, or even hire help to increase your production. Today we’ve rounded up a whole list of options for finding funding for your small business.

Funding Options for Small Business Owners
  • Small Business Association - From grants to loans to venture capital, the Small Business Association has you covered on all the different ways to fund your small business.
  • Entrepreneur - This article on 10 Ways to Fund Your Small Business from Entrepreneur.com covers two main options - debt and equity - and a list of resources for each one.
  • Forbes - There are several options for getting funding for your small business, but some of them just aren’t feasible. This down-to-earth article from Forbes outlines four realistic ways to get funding for your small business, especially when you’re just starting out.
  • Time - Sometimes as a small business owner you have to get creative, even when it comes to your finances. Time magazine outlines 5 creative ways to get funding for your business, including a discussion of the pros and cons for each method.

Several of our members are women, and in the search for business funding, that can be quite an advantage! There is a wealth of programs out there specifically designed to help with the financial aspects of running a woman-owned business. Here’s a list to get you started:

Funding for Female Business Owners

  • 11 Grants for Women-Owned Businesses - A grant is a fantastic source of business funding, because you don’t have to pay it back! There may be some hoops to jump through, but in the end isn’t free money worth a little hoop-jumping?
  • Back to the SBA - Seriously, the Small Business Association is a valuable resource! They’ve got a whole page dedicated to information for women in business.
The next time you open up your business wallet and find it lacking, don’t despair! Look into some of these options and see what a little capital can do to really jump-start your success.

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SWG Members: Get involved with Spinzilla 2016!

Posted By Rita Petty, Spinning & Weaving Chair, Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Now is the Time! Spinzilla team host sign-ups are happening through August 21, 2016. Don’t miss this great opportunity to energize your spinning customer base and bring new spinners into your shop!

About Spinzilla

In its fourth year, Spinzilla brings spinners from around the world together, in virtual or actual community, to celebrate their common love of making yarn by hand. As of mid-July, there are over 30 teams registered from around North America and from as far away as Bolivia and the UK! Who knows where the rest of the teams will come from? Register now to get your team’s name on the roster - this is the time to get the word out about your team sponsorship to get your spinning community energized!

Who should sponsor a team?

If you own any type of business related to handspinning, Spinzilla is the event for you. From indie dyers to wheel and spindle makers, shop owners and wholesalers, if you’ve got products for spinners then you can put together a team. Use this as an opportunity to bring your customers together to form a community - and don’t forget to offer your team members a special discount or members-only product for participating!

Form your team:

There’s a lot of information about becoming a team host on the Spinzilla Website – check out http://www.spinzilla.org/teams/host-team/ for all the information you need to get your shop on the Team Roster. Any TNNA member of the Spinning & Weaving Group may form a team - just sign up and pay the registration fee and you’re on your way. Make sure you look through all the resources available on the Spinzilla website – there is a wealth of information available, such as the informative blog and engaging blog tours, team information, as well as an extensive FAQ that will help answer any questions you may have.

How to get spinners involved

One of the best parts of Spinzilla is that, by spinning the massive amounts of yarn and spending concentrated time at the spinning wheel, spinners improve their technique. You can help them monster-up their skills by hosting events, workshops, and spinning nights. Spending time planning these sessions – whether casual or with a topic or skill to learn and practice – will reap rewards: Spinners love spinning together and will be glad for opportunities to gather and learn. This is a valuable opportunity to discover what spinners want to learn and what products they want, to get to know your spinning community and what excites them.

Shops and other team hosts may also gather together to organize bigger events for their local team and Rogue Spinners. In 2015, the Colorado-area teams coordinated a Spinzilla Spin In at the Denver Art Museum. Not only was this a fun way to gather for spinning and friendly competition, it was a great way to engage the public with demonstrations and conversation about a vibrant art! By sharing your love of spinning with the public, you can continue to draw people into the fiber arts!

Big events are fun – and so are more intimate ones! Host open spinning sessions during Spinzilla week for your team and any other team or rogue spinners who can make it. Sharing a potluck meal, having gift drawings, show-and-tell, and short competitions during the gatherings will keep people excited and engaged while they are spinning yard after yard of yarn.

By spending time planning and thinking of the types of events that you enjoy and that reflect your shop’s gestalt, you will be well on your way to bringing in and engaging with the spinning community in your area.

Remember, the fun doesn’t need to end when Spinzilla is done. Spinners will be eager to share their excitement and Spinzilla experiences  - showing off their miles of spun yarn and the garments and accessories they have made. You can help continue the afterglow by hosting a Show and Tell time, putting a Fashion Show with select items in your front window or on display in your shop, or hosting a knit-night focusing on patterns that use and highlight hand-spun yarn.

Spinning for a Cause

Spinzilla’s not just for fun - it’s also for a good cause: 100% of each spinner registration fee is donated to the NeedleArts Mentoring Program (NAMP), which since 2014, has included Spinning and Weaving in its program offerings, along with knitting, crochet, counted thread, embroidery, and needlepoint.  Since 2014 alone, the number of children spinning through the help of NAMP materials is over 900 - all thanks to the handspinning community’s donations in Spinzilla!

We hope that you join in the fun this year and help continue the groundswell of love for handspinning!

 


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9/1/2016 » 9/30/2016
Spinzilla 2016 ~ Spinner Registration